March has finally arrived! Yes! Yippee! Can you tell I get excited about March? It’s because it means springtime. Spring is my favorite season of all. I love to watch the landscape turn green and blossom with new growth. I am so tired of the dull grey of winter. It also because of Easter and St. Patrick’s day celebrations. I celebrate with food for sure. I’m celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with American Irish Soda Bread.
Easter has a lot of food associated with it. There is all the typical Easter dinner fare. However, I get most excited over two things: Cadbury mini eggs and caramel eggs. I smiled typing those words. Seriously. Now if only the Nestle would bring back their Nestle Crunch caramel eggs then I would be in paradise. Why, oh why, did they stop making those delightful eggs? Maybe I will see them again one day.
Anyway, back to the American Irish Soda Bread. The Twelve Loaves challenge this month is to bake a bread for a March holiday or celebration. I’ve heard about Irish soda bread but never actually tasted it. I went looking for recipes and ran across one for an Americanized version that is a little sweeter. Plus it calls for dried currants and I adore them. One of my favorite currant recipes is Buttermilk Currant Scones. I decided to start with the American Irish version and save baking a regular one for another day.
This bread is one I will make again and again. First it is quick and easy. So quick you need to be sure you have the oven ready and preheated before you start mixing ingredients together. I strongly suggest putting a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom rack to catch drips or spill-over. The bread itself is light, a little sweet, and has a crunchy sugar top. I ate my slice from the bottom up so I could enjoy the crunchy top for the last few bites. Warming up a slice for a few seconds in the microwave and then spreading butter on it is a good thing too.
How about more bread recipes for March? The Twelve Loaves bakers have some great ones to share:
- Grammy’s Italian Easter Bread by Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
- Hot Cross Buns by Holly at A Baker’s House
- Almond and Ginger Kulich by Paula at Vintage Kitchen
- American Irish Soda Bread by Renee at Magnolia Days
- Hot Cross Buns by Lora at Cake Duchess
- Pinca: Croatian Easter Bread by Sherron at Simply Gourmet
- Jamaican Zucchini Spiced Bun by Lyn at The Lovely Pantry
- Plaited Easter Bread with Cream Cheese Filling by Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Greek Easter Bread by Alice at Hip Foodie Mom
#TwelveLoaves March: Holiday Bread. Bake a bread, yeast or quick bread, loaf or individual. This #TwelveLoaves is all about the incredible holiday breads featured in March. Do you have a favorite Easter, Passover, or St. Patrick’s Day Bread? We would love to see it. Let’s get baking!
Want to join the #TwelveLoaves group? It’s easy!
- When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!
- Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
- Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this March, 2013 posted on your blog by March 31, 2013.
Happy Bread Baking!
American Irish Soda Bread
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup dried currants
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 tablespoon half-and-half or milk
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the lowest rack of the oven to catch any drips or spill-over while baking. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9- X 5-inch loaf pan. Set pan aside.
In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Whisk to combine. Add the dried currants and whisk to combine.
In a medium bowl, add the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter. Whisk to combine.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and quickly stir together until just combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Use your finger to press down the batter about 1/2-inch from the sides to make a "moat". Press a few times in the center. Drizzle the milk over the batter. Sprinkle top with turbinado sugar.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool bread in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove bread from the pan and cool completely on a rack. Slice and enjoy! Store leftovers in plastic wrap or a sealed container at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from one on the King Arthur Flour website.